Is Your Water Causing You to Gain Weight?

February 22, 2018

If you’ve followed me for any length of time, you already know how I feel about tap water. But, if you’re new to my blog — yes, you read that right. There’s a chance your water is contributing to your weight issues. Sounds crazy, right? But, I assure you, it’s not. In fact, there’s a lot you probably don’t know about how your water impacts your health. My friend, Dr. Roy M. Speiser is one of the world’s leading “water experts,” and today I want to share his wisdom with you. Dr. Speiser has advanced degrees in biology, biochemistry, bacteriology, certifications in biomechanical engineering, water specialist and over 30 years combined experience as a research scientist and holistic healthcare practitioner.

Dr. Speiser, as we know, most Americans consume tap water on a regular basis. By and large, they are all led to believe that this is a perfectly healthy option. It is water, after all, which at first blush, seems a better option those most of sugary alternatives. But, we know better don’t we? What is your take on this?

“The notion of safe drinking water is a myth. The fact that your tap water gets a passing grade from the EPA doesn’t mean it’s safe—in fact, far from it. Our drinking water has become a repository for toxic waste. Agricultural run-off is flushing heavy metals, pesticides, herbicides, and chemical fertilizers into the environment which then seep into our water supply. Industry illegally dumps chemicals into the ground and waterways.”

Could you elaborate on that, please?

“Due to our country’s rotting infrastructure, water suppliers have had to add more and more chlorine, resulting in higher levels of disinfection byproducts (DBPs). Disinfection byproducts such as chloroform have carcinogenic effects leading some to be EPA classified as Class B “probable carcinogens.”

New emerging contaminants have also made their way into our water supply, such as PFOA (from Teflon); flame-retardant chemicals; industrial agents such as PFOS, 1,4-dioxane, MTBE, perchlorate, and a glut of noxious drugs. Dumping by hospitals and pharmaceutical companies sends countless drugs into the environment that are finding their way to the tap.”

So, how does this affect the average American family?

“More than 250 million Americans are drinking water with unsafe levels of various toxic contaminants.

Based on research conducted between 2010 and 2015, the Environmental Working Group (EWG) found nearly 50,000 American public water systems contaminated with hundreds of harmful chemicals, including arsenic, chloroform, drugs, and others. Of the approximately 500 contaminants tested, they detected a whopping 267 in US drinking water supplies. (Click here for EWG’s Interactive map to see what’s lurking in your local water supply.)

An ongoing Associated Press investigation detected 46 different pharmaceuticals in the US drinking water supply, exposing more than 41 million people to antibiotics, anticonvulsants, antidepressants, anticoagulants, sex hormones, and the list goes on.

It’s been 20 years since the EPA last passed any new drinking water regulations, and only a meager 8 percent of violations are enforced. In terms of water quality, the US is approaching “Third World” conditions.”

What does this mean for Americans when it comes to health and wellness?

“Cancer-causing chemicals in our drinking water are of grave concern, but the damage to your health is not limited to cancer. Endocrine disrupting chemicals (EDCs) can wreak havoc on your hormones, compromise your thyroid, and make you pack on the pounds. Fluoride is a prime example.

Fluoride is a neurotoxin and an endocrine disruptor and has no benefits for the body. Despite a mountain of evidence about its health-destroying effects, about 75 percent of the US population still receives fluoridated water. Most developed countries do not fluoridate their water—and for good reason. Fluoridated countries do not enjoy less tooth decay than non-fluoridated countries.

Water suppliers are now using more toxic forms of fluoride, such as hydrofluorosilicic acid (HFSA) or even aluminum fluoride. HFSA is a poisonous pale-yellow liquid that is corrosive enough to etch glass.

Fluoride can lead to weight gain and obesity by blocking the iodine receptors in your thyroid gland, which impedes your body’s synthesis of thyroid hormone. Fluoride is such a potent suppressor of the thyroid that it was actually used to treat hyperthyroidism up until the 1950s!

But, Americans have long been taught that fluoride is a good thing – and beneficial to our children and their oral health. Are you saying we’re unwittingly harming our health? What else does fluoride do?

“Just like other halogens, fluoride can hasten the development of thyroiditis (inflammation of the thyroid gland), as well as autoimmune thyroiditis. Research to date suggests fluoride exposure may be driving up the prevalence of diabetes in this country. Fluoride exposure can also damage the brain. Babies exposed to fluoridated water in-utero via the mother show grossly abnormal brain development. These mothers drank fluoridated water that was within “safe guidelines” as set by the EPA—the same water we drink today. A recent study involving Mexican women found that children with prenatal fluoride exposure have lower IQs.

The dots have also been connected between fluoride and Alzheimer’s disease and several forms of cancer (uterine, respiratory, bone, and oral). Fluoride demineralizes bone, promoting skeletal fluorosis or bone destruction. Sadly, the list goes on.

When it comes to crimes against your thyroid, fluoride does not act alone. Firm evidence exists that PCBs, phthalates, bisphenol A (BPA), brominated flame retardants, and perfluorinated chemicals also damage the thyroid, and all of these are making their way into our tap water.”

All that would mean that, quite literally, the water we drink on a daily basis may be contributing to weight gain?

“When it comes to weight loss resistance, the estrogen-mimicking chemicals in your drinking water can really do a number on you. Estrogenic compounds are so notorious for causing weight gain that they’re referred to as “obesogens.” These compounds are ubiquitous today from plastic products, processed foods, drugs such as antidepressants and anticonvulsants, and many other sources.

Although oral contraceptives have been accused of being a major source of synthetic estrogens in our water supply, they are actually not the primary source, according to findings from the University of California San Francisco. Researchers determined that far more significant sources are chemicals arising from the conventional agricultural industry—herbicides, pesticides, fertilizers, drugs fed to livestock, and so on.”

Is there anything else you’d like us to know about what’s lurking in our water?

“Atrazine is the second most commonly used herbicide in the US and one of the most prevalent in drinking water—one in six Americans are estimated to be drinking atrazine-contaminated water. Atrazine is linked to infertility, a variety of birth defects, several cancers (including ovarian and thyroid), mitochondrial dysfunction, and weight gain.

Any one of the above EDCs would be cause enough for concern, but an even greater problem is cumulative toxicity. With the Environmental Working Group’s study finding 267 different chemicals in the nation’s water supply, it’s clear that people are not being exposed to just one chemical at a time. The science to date confirms that chemical mixtures often have dose-additive effects in the human body.

For example, combinations of EDCs such as phthalates and pesticides are able to produce significant effects, even when each chemical is present at a low enough level to not individually produce a measurable effect. A 2016 study published in Environmental Health Perspectives was the first to show a strong association between combinations of EDCs and breast cancer risk. Another study showed a similar link between exposure to multiple EDCs and disrupted reproductive development in male rats.

We have no real data about the potentially far-reaching effects of all these toxic chemicals in our water supply—and we haven’t even talked about those in our air, food, and household products.”

In your opinion, how should we address this situation?  What is the solution?

“If you want to achieve a healthy weight and avoid a thyroid slowdown, you simply cannot drink toxic water. Effective water filtration is critically important if you are challenged with any serious health condition.

In attempting to navigate the maze of misinformation, millions of consumers are buying filters that are entry-level, or minimal, filters such as pour-through pitchers and refrigerator or faucet filters. These devices are not capable of removing the wide array of contaminants found in today’s drinking water. They may reduce small amounts of chlorine, lead, bad taste and odor, but when it comes to fluoride, parasites, heavy metals, chloramine, pharmaceuticals, and industrial chemicals, they are simply not up to the task.

The best protection requires a multi-barrier filtration system that can effectively eliminate even the smallest particles from your water. When it comes to water filters, there is no one-size-fits-all. Different contaminants require different filtration technologies. For example, THMs and pharmaceuticals are best removed by special carbons. Reverse osmosis is good for metals but not effective for industrial chemicals. Ceramics are best for parasites, which chlorine does not kill.

The most effective system is a filtration tank on the main pipe containing different filtration materials to remove industrial chemicals, chlorine, DBPs, and start the process of removing heavy metals. If your water evaluation showed special contaminants, specialized filters can be added.

The next step in the treatment chain is to add filtration at the sink, which removes additional contaminants such as fluoride, bacteria, parasites, heavy metals, and special toxins. In an apartment, a shower filter removes free chlorine—not the ammonia part, but the chlorine, which is a major factor in the formation of disinfection byproducts. A multistage system is so effective that by the time your water reaches the tap, the contaminants are essentially non-detectable.

When it comes to choosing a system, my advice is to purchase the best filter you can afford with the latest filtration technology for handling the more challenging contaminants, including fluoride. My favorite new technology is MetalgonTM, which utilizes a combination of top quality activated carbon plus other superior adsorbent materials, melded into a solid block with a dense, high-performance pore structure.

It is time we stop taking our water for granted. The water we drink today sets the stage for our health tomorrow. Chronic disease rates, as well as the obesity epidemic, suggest we are in dire need of a course correction. Without responsible and effective solutions, the cost of water will become prohibitively expensive to the average family, who will then end up paying the price with their health. You alone are the one who must safeguard your family’s health by taking steps to improve the water quality in your home.”

This subject literally applies to every single American, young and old. That’s why my partners at UNI KEY Health offer a number of options for ensuring your water is safe and healthy.

To learn more about UNI KEY’s water filtration options, click HERE.  If you’d like to learn about custom, whole-house filtration options, call UNI KEY’s 5-star customer service line at 800-888-4353.

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Ann Louise Gittleman, PhD, CNS, is an award-winning New York Times bestselling author of more than thirty books including The Fat Flush Plan series and her latest book, Radical Metabolism. She’s been rewriting the rules of nutrition for more than 40 years and is internationally recognized as a pioneer in the field of diet, detox and women’s health issues. 

For a FREE daily dose of tips and strategies for maintaining healthy weight, conquering insomnia, and much more…check out my Radical Health Tips.

I’d like to meet and greet you on my Facebook groups, so won’t you check us out at the Radical Metabolism RevolutionFat Flush Nation, or my Inner Circle!


  1. Meredith

    Great post!

  2. Cathy

    I have a jacuzzi. We have to add chemicals all the time to keep it in range. Any help there?

    • Team ALG

      You may want to consider getting an ozonator for your hot tub. When ozone gas is injected into your spa water, it acts as a powerful sanitizer that destroys most of the bacteria and viruses present in the spa water. Ozone also breaks down body oils so your water will remain clear and fresh for a longer period than spa water that is only sanitized by bromine or chlorine.

  3. Olgs Schwedland

    Great information! Thank you

  4. Betsy

    Such an important topic. I’ve use this water filter and felt more energy

  5. Dee Dee Shaw

    I have been teaching the same thing for years. So many people have resorted to bottled water which in many cases is worse because they don’t purify the water effectively and then the toxins Leach in from the plastic bottles. Being sold this like has created a horrific pollution problem as well.
    Not only do we have a whole house filter (even though we have a well) we also use a MorCler to filter and pH balance our drinking water. It uses a 6 part filtration system to remove pharmaceuticals, as well as over 70 other contaminants, and it is a countertop unit so it is portable. You can pour coffee or diet Coke in it and end up with pure clean water!

  6. Donna Armstrong

    Test spa water for brominated disinfection byproducts (carcinogenic) if you use both chlorine and ozone in tap water or even just tap water and ozone to disinfect it.

    • Team ALG

      Thank you Donna. That is a good tip.

  7. Stephanie

    Interestingly enough, I came across this post after realizing that I gained weight and am super puffy and bloated after one day of 96 oz of tap water. I woke up looking puffy and feeling a lot more jiggly. The only thing that changed was I ran out of bottles of water and drank “filtered” tap water. I told my mom this morning, “I think the tap water made me heavier,” and decided to do a quick internet search to see if it was just me. I guess with all the toxins in the tap water, my liver and kidneys are busy filtering it and just holding on to this excess water in the meantime. Thank you for this article. Now I know, “it’s not me.”


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